Every autumn our local electricity providers shut the hydro down for a day in order to do work on the lines. Last year it was mercifully cancelled and the year before that my dad was in town and we did a day trip to Pickle Lake. This year we wanted to do something new so we set out for Kenora on Sunday, right after the house went dark. It’s about three hours away, and we’ve only gone there a few times intentionally (as in, not part of a trip to or from Manitoba).
Unfortunately it started to pour rain about halfway there, so any hopes of hanging out at the beach, going to a park, or just wandering around downtown were dashed. We still tried to make the most of it, but it sort of turned into a long drive with no purpose other than to kill time! First we visited Egli’s Sheep Farm just outside of Dryden, where M pointed at every sheepskin item and said “Kitty!” We bought her a small hunk of sheepskin; one of those magic pet toys that moves if you stroke it. She doesn’t understand how it works but she likes to grab it and yell KITTY so I figure it’s sparing the cats, at least.
In Vermilion Bay we had lunch at Buster’s BBQ, a restaurant we have driven by countless times, always noting we should go inside one day. With nothing better to do and no looming plans, it seemed like a good time to try it, and hilariously we were not the only ones with the same idea because as we were getting ready to leave, Matt’s brother and one of our friends walked in. The food is really tasty, especially the barbecue sauce. They’re award winners, and I can see why.
In Kenora we ran into major road construction which landed us, conveniently, at the front door of the Lake of the Woods Brewing Company. Matt ran in and bought two growlers while M slept in the car, then we drove around in the rain for awhile, realizing that practically nothing was open.
Eventually we turned the car around and headed to Dryden, where we had dinner, then back home. It was a good day, albeit a bit gloomy. I wish it hadn’t rained, but I’d rather be on the road in the rain than sitting at home in the dark in the rain!
It’s amazing how having no power makes everything feel boring — we’re so used to having lights and games and internet access at our disposal. I think 80% of the people I know in town left for the day in order to avoid being in the dark. Once we got back Matt built a fire and cracked open one of the bottles of beer, and I was grateful that we were only missing electricity for one day.